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Politics & Law Series: Expert Comment

What to expect from Trump's State of the Union address

US politics expert Professor Inderjeet Parmar predicts what Trump will say in his State of the Union address

by City Press Office

President Donald Trump is set to deliver his first State of the Union address. Here is a prediction of some of the things to expect, from US politics expert Professor Inderjeet Parmar, Head of the Department of International Politics at City, University of London.

“Donald Trump’s State of the Union address is likely to be characterised by glowing praise for his own efforts as President over the past year, ‘America first’ rhetoric and thinly veiled messages about race aimed at his core support base.

“Presidents use the annual speech to highlight their achievements and put distance between themselves and their opponents – Trump’s track record suggests he will have no problem with either task.

“We can expect the President to take credit for the growth in the US stock market, military progress against ISIS in Syria, the cooling of political tensions on the Korean peninsula and the end of the government shutdown.

“There will be the usual affirmation that the USA is going forward, creating new opportunities and safely in the hands of strong leadership from the White House. Trump can point to the newly passed tax reform as a sign that new jobs and prosperity are on the horizon.

“The Democrats will come under attack, probably in the form of criticism for their recent enforcement of the government shutdown and their stance on immigration. Trump will also use the opportunity to attack the Democrats’ allies, such as those in the media and intelligence communities, for their political ‘witch hunt’ – the alleged Russian collusion during the election campaign.

“The majority of these features fit the template for a State of the Union address, which is a political event after all. But Trump will deliver it with the divisive, racialised rhetoric that has run through every speech he has made since announcing his presidential candidacy in 2016.

“President Trump’s speech is likely to confirm that the actual ‘state of the union’ is that there is deep cultural polarisation, political division and governmental chaos.”

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